Rupert Pupkin Speaks: Film Discoveries of 2017 - Brandon Smith ""

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Film Discoveries of 2017 - Brandon Smith

Brandon Smith has been a film junkie since the yesteryears of VHS and Laserdisc, also a hardcore advocate of physical media. @bsmith8168 is dedicated to seeking out any under seen and underrated film from around the globe. In his spare time he helps out the good people at AGFA to help in the preservation and distribution of many of oft talked of titles that many thought lost in the malaise of the grindhouse era.
The Untamed (2016)
The first attempt at this film put me to sleep near instantly, mostly because I started watching it at 1AM after work. Upon the second attempt my mind was blown after finishing it, I couldn't stop thinking about the film for weeks. The setup is a little messy involving a mystery woman escaping some kind of strange love tryst with a Lovecraft like tentacled creature that delivers similar pleasures and pains sort of like a more perverse Cenobite. Meanwhile a unfulfilled mother and wife is coping with a distant husband that is actually sleeping with her brother. The film has a slight bit of a Cronenberg feel and seems a little bit like Possession. The genre film game from Mexico is becoming something really special and this is going be that's hard to forget.
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The New Centurions (1972)
George C. Scott and Stacy Keach in a '70s cop drama! Sign me the fuck up! I really can't believe that I'd never even heard of this till Indicator announced the BluRay release. The film starts with Keach as a cadet that becomes a partner of Scott, together they shed some light of the day to day life on the beat. The film focuses on multiple different aspects of the job to remain entertaining throughout and has enough grittiness to satisfy the Exploitation crowd and a couple WTF moments to keep you on your toes.
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HellBent (1988)
Hell Bent was the type of film that I had zero expectations for, the reviews seemed rather low and I'd never heard of it or the filmmaker. Luckily my faith in the people at Vinegar Syndrome is running strong and yet again they are back to impress again. The film is a punk version of Faust, but in it's low budget revelry the magic begins. There's a sweet devil, motorcycle drive-bys from a uzi wielding Santa Claus, and a guy that is basically Robo-tripping in every scene. This film looks really good and needs to solidify the cult status it deserves.
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Hagazussa (2017)
Atmosphere up the wazoo, has the same type of feeling that The VVitch had with a story that transcends time through the medieval era. Lots of great costume designs and enough events that are widely open for interpretation. My first reaction to the film was that it seemed interesting, but the non-linear storyline left me wanting more. Then after a couple days I realized that I couldn't stop thinking about it, as if it had enchanted me. I had a similar reaction to Marketa Lazarova which has now become one of my favorites.

Messiah of Evil (1973)
I feel like I saved this for a long time for a special viewing and then one day I was like fuck it, it's time. The film is a masterpiece in all shapes and forms, as a lover of '70s horror I can't recommend this enough.
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Band of the Hand (1986)
After seeing multiple tweets from everybody's favorite BluRay release informant @bobfreelander I thought what the hell I'll just blind buy it. Worth every penny, action packed, great cast, and just oozes with '80s style.
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Scrap Heaven (2005)
There is a lot to like about Scrap Heaven, I don't really understand the title and the box art does not nearly begin to sell what this film truely is. The film is about three individuals that were taken hostage by a gun crazed maniac and how their lives collide months after the incident. The hostage scenario only takes up the first ten minutes of the film after that it turns into a strange sort of Fight Club type plot with the two male survivors. With as many different directions the film takes it's hard to believe that it can still finish so strong. It is a must for Asian cinema lovers.
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Bat Pussy (1973)
That's right, there's porn of my list. When I first read about this film I thought It's be the typical early '70s bargain basement adult one hour spoof. Well that's what the filmmakers were hoping for, thank god for ineptitude. The film is a nonstop laugh riot that has to be seen to be believed. If the chance arises for you to see this in a theatre you should jump on it, pure ridiculousness.
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